Upper Arlington News

'Test case' for mobile vendors

Schmidt’s receives UA’s first food truck permit

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Columbus’ iconic Schmidt’s Restaurant and Sausage Haus recently became the first business permitted to operate a food truck on a recurring business in Upper Arlington – albeit temporarily.

Although food trucks have been allowed to do business in the city for special events, including the Labor Day Arts Festival, Upper Arlington had not allowed mobile food vendors to operate on a regular basis.

That is until June 25, when City Manager Ted Staton authorized Schmidt’s to operate its food truck at Sunoco gas station, 1800 W. Lane Ave., every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from July 11 through Sept. 1.

According to Chad Gibson, senior planning officer for Upper Arlington, the Schmidt’s food truck is being viewed as a “test case” for the city as it seeks to balance the public’s desire for access to mobile food vendors with the impact they might have on existing, permanent businesses operating in UA.

Gibson noted the city “wants to support existing, permanent businesses as much as possible” and hopes to prevent mobile food vendors from “cannibalizing” them.

“The city currently is studying the issue and determining if regulations are needed for food trucks,” Gibson said. “We want to make sure we have rules in place to ensure it is fair for all.

“We’ve got to make sure it’s safe. Is there enough parking? Is the food truck in a location that’s an obvious determent to existing, permanent businesses?”

Representatives from Schmidt’s could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday, July 10.

However, a press release from the company, which has operated for 127 years in German Village in Columbus, stated the food truck would be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and information about additional hours would be available online at www.schmidthaus.com.

Gibson said the food truck is permitted to operate a total of three hours each day.

He also noted Schmidt’s was allowed to conduct business all day at Sunoco, located at the corner of West Lane Avenue and Northwest Boulevard, July 3 and 4, and the city received no complaints related to its operation.

Look for additional information regarding Schmidt’s Upper Arlington food truck and the city’s position on mobile food vendors in the July 18 edition of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.

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